Where's the moisture come from?

Ok guys, I need some suggestions.
I was hired to find the source of the leak on an 8-year old condo roof.
I have found several things wrong, but am looking for anything I may have missed. Of the things I’ve found to be suspect include:

  1. CertainTeed brand (Horizon series) shingles used. These have been recalled and prematurely loose granules, then crack and curl. (Seen in the first 2 pictures)
  2. Properly insulated heat/cooling ducts, but several exposed cold air returns (attic insulation is not fully covering in all areas) - Should these just be covered in attic insulation or should they be wrapped? Or is it acceptable as is? Would this situation produce condensation and drip? (These are the next 2 pictures)
  3. From the roof, the siding runs right down to the shingles with J-channel at the bottom. Proper step-flashing is not visible (but would I see it if it is there?). If you look closely, the J-channel is caulked going down the roof on the left side of the picture, but was not done on the right side.

Altogether, this was a poorly constructed condominium with poor materials.
Any help is greatly appreciated.
Thanks guys.

Where is the leak at?

The moisture is in the ceiling of the garage and living space. Drywall had been replaced about a year ago and now moisture has appeared again. There had been a roofer inspecting it at that time and he found nothing to report.

The air conditioning ducts should already be insulted inside. You would see condensation or staining, most likely, if that was the problem. Now if the attic is not properly vent, the ductwork will condensate.

From the condition of the shingles, that is most likely your leak. Take some moisture readings on the underside of sheathing in the attic. Either way, the roof needs to be replace. The roofer can check for proper flashing then.

I agree with James. Also, if there is no step flashing and no moisture protection behind the siding and J channel, under the right conditions moisture could find it’s way in through there. Since one side is caulked I would bet that’s the source.

If the leakage area is under that vertical wall intersection with the roof plane it is undoubtably a flashing issue. I notice that the attic photos do not include the sheathing in the area above where the drywall is damaged. If that is inaccessible is it properly ventilated or insulated? Tell us where you are at, there are often different answers to the same questions for different locations.

This condo is in Southeastern Wisconsin.

After enlarging the exterior wall image, clear silicone caulking was placed at the bottom of the J channel, indicative of known prior leakage and/or flashing issues. The shingle installation at the left side slope (same photo) does not appear correct, although the image area is limited.

It is not a standard of pratice to caulk j-trim to the roof or any other surfuce.
This is a dead giveaway that someon is trying to stop the water from going in for a reason.
Un-zip the darn thing and find out. :):wink:

Marcel is right.

I wouldn’t be surprised to find no or inadequate step flashings.

The only way to find out is unzip the strips near the roof line.

Here is a pic which may be of use.

Good video;

Watch the video on Roof Step Flashing](http://www.hgtvpro.com/hpro/pac_ctnt/text/0,2595,HPRO_20196_55073,00.html?c=483&videoid=63326). :slight_smile:

When checkomng for step flashing under J channel, I run a putty knife between and move it. If the tins are there, you can feel them.

Hope this helps;

Good tip Will, and it also tells me that there are now holes in the flashing 1-1/2" above the roof every 12". And I would fire anyone that installs a j-channel on top of the roof. :mrgreen:

That is a huge WOW for me…every 12"…fantastic!!!

I do litigation assistance in the residential realm. I have done vinyl and wood siding inspections for homeowners in the last 4-5 years where the siding was not fastened even close to the manufacturer’s instruction.

On one new house, the pre-finished wood siding was totally removed/replaced at a cost of over $18,000. The siding was supposed to be nailed 1" up from the lower edge…it was hard to find a nail at the 1" mark.

The worst I have ever viewed was “double 5” vinyl siding with some nails as far apart as 43". This was a house re-built after Hurricane Juan in 2003. It sat up on an open hill and its roof system ended up on the ground about 75’ from the house. Manufacturer’s instructions were for nailing at 12" in windy locations…could not find anything under 18-20".

There might be a selected few that make an atempt to do it right Brian, just not the ones you saw. :slight_smile:

Brian, you are such a stickler for detail. Hey, man, nails cost money!